Ranking the top 3 SF Giants starting pitching targets by ground ball rate
2. Sonny Gray - 47.3 percent ground ball rate
Sonny Gray is probably my favorite starting-pitching option available this winter. In a lot of ways, he does what the Giants like in a pitcher and he will not command a deal in excess of four years given that he will be entering his age-34 season in 2024.
Chris Bassitt's three-year, $63 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays last offseason is likely a reasonable template for Gray. Though, his agent may be looking to tack on at least one more year on that type of deal given that the veteran pitcher just finished second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2023.
The 11-year veteran was electric with the Minnesota Twins as he posted a 2.79 ERA, 2.83 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, and a 3.33 SO/W in 32 starts. He has a pretty durable track record as he has made at least 25 appearances in four of the last five full seasons.
Gray induced a ground ball in 47.3 percent of batted ball events. He also had the lowest home run rate (0.39 HR/9 rate) in baseball among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.
Is he a frontline starter? He struggled during his time with the New York Yankees, but he has also tallied a 3.22 ERA over the past five years. There are only nine pitchers who have had a better ERA during that timespan with at least 500 innings pitched. He is very, very good.
The right-handed hurler rejected a qualifying offer earlier this season, so if the Giants were to sign him, they would lose a draft pick. That could very well be a non-starter for the Giants as they have not signed a player who has rejected a qualifying offer in nearly 10 years. There will likely be some connection between him and San Francisco given that Bob Melvin was Gray's manager during his time with the Oakland A's.